Pitching is tough.
Budget conscious clients seem to have a plethora of service providers to choose from. How can you compete against competitors who are willing to offer a comparable service and undercut you on price?
The answer is to sell yourself effectively. While the quality of your service is of paramount importance, when it comes to landing lucrative contracts, selling the prospective client on the value of your service arguably counts for just as much.
That’s where video pitches come in. They will stand out in a crowd of cookie-cutter pitches and compel prospective clients to take your business more seriously. Better yet, they’re not as difficult to put together as you think.
With the above in mind, in this post we will focus on three compelling reasons as to why you should adopt the video pitch today, then direct you towards the necessary resources to get started.
1. Video Grabs Attention
When you are pitching an idea – or yourself – the experts say that you have just a few precious seconds to grab the attention of your audience. Video stands out. We humans are primarily visual creatures (it’s our dominant sense), so it’s hardly surprising that a visual approach works so well.
The proof is in the percentages: 30% to 40% of the human cerebral cortex is devoted to vision, compared to a measly eight percent for touch, our second most dominant sense. So it makes all sorts of sense that a visually-driven medium will prove attractive.
I challenge you not to watch the above video. Point proven 😉
Because we’re hard-wired to find images compelling, video resonates with people. Since the first blurry black and white films were cranked out in the 1890s, people have been flocking to see this amazing art form. And remember, back in the day there was no sound (apart from the cinema pianist) and not a single special effect – that’s how captivating a visual medium can be.
Because we are so programmed by nature to ‘read’ faces and pay attention to motion, video is invested with nuance, subtlety, and emotion from the get-go. Video also provides useful clues in your tone of voice and body language – if you’re passionate about your pitch it will show, and you’ll make a powerful connection with your audience.
2. Video Provides a Human Face for Your Pitch
Whatever you’re selling – yourself, a product, a campaign – video provides a human perspective. This is incredibly important as human interaction can provide a real wow factor. Remember Jean-Claude Van Damme’s Epic Splits video?
It wouldn’t have been quite the same had it just featured two trucks (however stable) driving along a road.
The main reason you should include a human face is because, let’s face it, you are your pitch. However good a wordsmith you are – however great your experience or your product – people are hiring you.
And let’s be honest, if you had the time, would you not want to explain your vision face to face? Time and distance (too busy, too far away) mean that often this simply isn’t possible. As we as individuals increasingly do business globally, we need to find some way to replicate this natural interaction. And that way is video.
Video will set the scene for your pitch instantly. However you choose to approach your subject – smart, sassy, serious or humorous – your intent will be immediately obvious for your audience to see. Video gives you instant impact, far more so than any other medium.
3. Video Is Best When Time Is of the Essence
If you have ever thought about selling anything, you will also have spent hours worrying and chewing over pages of script – writing and rewriting, trying to hone your messages, trying to say absolutely everything you want to say to your potential clients.
The bad news is that effective video pitches are said to last between thirty seconds and a couple of minutes. The good news is, well, exactly the same thing. Google’s Project Loon video is a good example of an explainer video that is focused but also engaging:
This brutally short timeframe is beneficial because it makes obvious something that is a reality we often overlook – people’s attention span is short, and getting shorter. Add to that how people frequently skip between websites, channels and media. It’s often easy to overlook this when you’re writing, as you fondly assume people are riveted by your every golden word.
If you have to explain yourself within a couple of minutes, that translates to a couple of hundred words. Now you are really going to have to focus in on what’s important!
In reality, you can communicate a great deal of information in such a short time – hell, you can say something meaningful in 30 seconds if you concentrate on the real core of your message. But you’re going to have to be ruthless and cut out all the fluff and window dressing. And that’s good – the brevity of the timeframe will force you to be concise. All of these constraints will benefit your message.
The short timeframe should also ensure your pitch is clear – if you’re speaking rather than writing, you will be far more attuned to what sounds like ‘real’ language; the sort of thing you might say to your client if you really were face to face. And clear communication is invaluable.
The timeframe will also mean you have to be very specific. You will have to think like a news reporter – what’s the killer fact you need to lead with? You’ll have to answer those age-old key questions (who, what, where, when, why, how) in roughly that order, depending on your aims and timescale.
You’ve Sold Me on Video – Now How Do I Go About Making One?
If this all makes sense to you, you may well want to go that final step and actually make a video pitch. There are useful guidelines online about how to do this successfully. Others can be found here and here.
Summing up what the experts say, preparation is key. Keep it simple; be direct; get straight to the heart of your story. And remember that video is a visual medium. You will have to get some basics right:
- Dress to suit your message (if you have dodgy dress sense, it may be a good idea to go to others for guidance).
- Make sure there are no undue distractions such as fussy clothing or exotic jewelry – you want everything focused on your pitch.
- Stick to the absolute bones of your pitch. In those first vital seconds, people have to be able to see exactly what it is you’re selling.
- Ask colleagues or friends for feedback before you post your pitch for the public to see. Insist that they’re honest – you can always re-record or re-edit a pitch to make sure it really packs a punch.
The benefits of moving to video are really significant – Media Button claims that up to 85% of people are more likely to buy a product if they first see an explainer video, and video company Kukuzoo says 70% of internet users watch online video.
There are huge benefits to embracing video – you will be appealing directly to your potential clients, and you’ll be grabbing their attention far more directly and powerfully than if you only put your case in writing. You’ll also be forced into one of the most useful disciplines a seller can learn – figuring out how to make the case for yourself, your product or cause succinctly.
Do you make use of video pitches? Let us know why and how you use them in the comments below!
*Editor’s note: It might seem as if you’re drowning in a sea of competition. But, if you want to stay afloat, then you’ll need to implement clever strategies that lets a prospect know that you’re serious about being taken, well….seriously!
Here’s something else that you can do to show prospects that you mean business–send them professional project proposals. We’re going to lead you to the best way possible, and all you’ll need to do is take advantage of our current free 14 day trial offer!